How to Keep Your Immune System Strong
Boosting your immune system always–and most especially during the cold seasons–is vital.
The outbreak of the coronavirus (or 2019-nCov) has caused global fear, but it’s a reminder of how important it is for us to keep our resistance strong against whatever viruses or bacteria that may come our way and cause disease.
There are many ways to strengthen your immune system. You’re probably already familiar with some of these methods. For example, you can give your immune system the upper hand by living a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating unprocessed and nutrient dense foods, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, exercising, not smoking, drinking alcoholic drinks in moderation, and managing stress effectively.
But one thing that can help your body’s immune defense tremendously is getting enough Vitamin C…and there’s a catch!
The catch is that it’s not enough to get plenty of Vit C daily: you also have to make sure to not rapidly deplete the Vit C you are getting. Two things that deplete your Vit C quickly are sugary foods and stress.
So I want to briefly tell you about how Vit C works and then let’s talk about how to plug the Vit C Drain so that you stay healthy and feel great. Sound good?
Why Vit C is Awesome
Vitamin C has gained popularity over the years because a high level of vitamin C in the body is considered to be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in foods, particularly in fruits and vegetables.
Here are some of its benefits:
- It works as an antioxidant. — It protects the cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Actually, the formation of free radicals in the body is important because they are byproducts of our cells’ conversion of food into usable energy. However, when free radicals accumulate, they cause damage to cells. Free radicals are also found in air pollution, UV light, and cigarette smoke. Antioxidants, like vitamin C, fight the free radicals. So in a way, vitamin C prevents or delays cell damage, including certain cancers, and promotes healthy aging.
- It is needed to make collagen. — Your body naturally makes collagen with the help of vitamin C and the minerals zinc and copper. Collagen is a substance needed for your body’s connective tissues, which is vital to support your organs. Are you familiar with scurvy? This is a condition of vitamin C deficiency in which in the late stage of the condition, the person loses their teeth because there is no more connective tissues holding them in. Collagen is also important for healthy skin and bones and for healing wounds.
- It helps in the absorption of iron from plant-based sources. Iron is important in transporting oxygen through the blood, and vitamin C increases the absorption of iron in the small intestines. So, iron must be taken together with vitamin C to get the maximum benefits.
- Finally, and our main point here is that it helps in strengthening our immune system.
But how does vitamin C do the work?
By supporting various cellular functions of the immune system, vitamin C promotes the cellular activities of the immune cells that ultimately kills the invading microbes.
Studies have even shown that vitamin C deficiency decreases immune resistance and increases the individual’s risk for infections.
How’s your vitamin C status?
Make sure to support your immune system by taking vitamin C every day. You can get vitamin C from a variety of food sources such as citrus fruits, guavas, papayas, Brussels sprouts, black currants, kiwis, kale, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, and organ meats.
Vitamin C, however, can be easily destroyed during food preparation because it’s sensitive to light, heat, and air so fresh and lightly cooked is best.
As an alternative, you can take vitamin C from rose hips. Rose hips are the seed pods of roses and are rich in vitamin C as well as other compounds that further boost the antioxidant function of vitamin C. A few weeks ago, I also shared some of the best forms of supplemental Vit C (check that out here in case you missed it).
Plug the drain
Lastly, the more mindful you are of avoiding sugar and choosing alternatives like monk fruit or Lakanto or small amounts of honey, the more Vitamin C you’ll retain. This goes for lots of fruit or any foods that cause your blood sugar to increase strongly (this depletes your Vit C!).
Same goes for stress. Stress is like flushing your Vitamin C down the toilet! And I know that you can’t avoid all stress, BUT you can absolutely manage how you respond to it much of the time. HeartMath tools are my favorite way to transform stress right there in the moment you are feeling it (so you plug the drain right away). Other great tools are exercise, music, meditation, getting out in nature, talking with someone, yoga, journaling…the more quickly you can change how you are feeling in the moments you have stress, the better your life experience will be and the better Vit C levels you’ll have.
Truly, prevention is better than cure so build up your immune system well. I’m not saying you won’t ever catch a cold if your immune system is strong, but you’ll certainly be more resilient and quicker to fight it off.
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!